Learning to eat healthy and exercise in Chicago
Easter dinner went well- I’m really proud of the way I managed to find a balance between making smart eating choices and not feeling deprived of the binge options! I ended up bringing Cheesey Quinoa Bites, Goat Cheese Stuffed Avocado, Green Bean Fries, and Banoffee Pie (which admittedly is terrible for you… but give me a break- It’s delicious).
There was one thing I made, however, which was too disgusting to bring: Sweet Potato Brownies. They looked like shit. Literally. What is even more unsettling is they didn’t taste any better than they looked. The recipe I got it from touted about how tasty they were and how they had finally found a healthy brownie recipe (it uses date paste and unsweetened apple sauce instead of sugar).
So here are my problems with vegans*:
Problem #1: They are constantly coming up with substitutes for traditional items like cheese burgers but the vegans call it a “Cheezburger.” Same for bacon mac ‘n cheese (Bakkon Mac ‘N Cheez)- Vegans love bacon and Cheese- or at least their substitutes. If you want to eat meat smothered if cheese so bad maybe you should not give up meat and cheese in the first place. I’m all for finding healthy substitutes in recipes but this is just too much. Own what you do, make it delicious, but don’t take out entire categories of food only to mimic them with highly processed or deep fried alternatives. It makes more sense to me to just eat clean and restrict your meat/dairy intake than to eliminate it all together but then rely on these diner-style mock ups to make up for the loss.
Problem #2: Why do you have to name it stupid stuff like Cheez and Bakkon? I hate it. Hate Hate Hate. Vegans love to spell stuff weird. Vegans also LOVE alliteration. Kale Krunch. Sometimes I think vegan chefs just put ingredients together because they start with the same letter: Rhubarb & Rosewater, Avocado & Asparagus, Carrot & Chickpea, etc.
Problem #3: Most of their food tastes horrible but they won’t admit it. Cheez is chalky. A burger made out of a Portabella mushroom is still a mushroom. Seitan that is deep fried to mimic chicken hardly seems like a smart alternative to just buying organic & humanely treated local chicken. And let’s not forget those sweet potato brownies. Either the author of that recipe really has no taste (or she has just forgotten what a brownie is supposed to taste like) or she was lying to get attention for her crappy recipe. If you make veggie squares but add cocoa powder that doesn’t make it a brownie, admit that. Market it as something else or be upfront about how dry it is and the fact that it really just tastes like old chocolatey vegetable bread.
Problem #4: Vegan recipes are too involved! I like cooking and baking but not if it means devoting my whole entire day to one batch of gross brownies and all of the next day cleaning up after it since there are so many steps! Take date paste for example: you use it in the recipe to substitute sugar, basically. Okay, that’s fine except you don’t buy the date paste you have to make it. Simple enough just blend dates and water (I skipped the step about soaking them for hours because whose got the time?). Except what a mess- and I could just but my blender/ food processor to the side because I needed it for about 15 other steps in the recipe (blended sweet potato) so that was a lot of extra washing and drying and transferring and setting to the side. Don’t even get me started on cashew butter. If you are considering a vegan lifestyle might I also suggest buying multiple food processors?
Problem #5: Once in a blue moon I stumble on something vegan that is totally delicious. So it’s not like I can just pass on vegan recipes all together. What if the sweet potato brownies ended up actually being delicious? I need to keep trying these vegan recipes because sometimes I do stumble on something life altering. Just this week I found Kale Krunch and it blew my mind! It’s Kale that has been dehydraded or dried or something and then covered in seasoning and it kicks ass. I have finally found a potatoe chip alternative that is actually good (ps- thanks Alive & Radient Foods for not naming this Kale Chips). I want to work on my own recipe so that I can enjoy these without the mystery seasonings that I dont totally trust but until then these are great!
* I obviously mean this in a general sense. Im speaking more about the idea of veganism and to a greater extent vegan culture. If I offended you with this generalization then I guess I’m sorry but only a little.